Blue Jays’ third baseman Josh Donaldson exited in the sixth inning of Sunday’s loss to the Rays after experiencing right calf tightness on a close play at first base. Donaldson was seen limping off the field after the play and immediately headed for the clubhouse. No further details have been revealed about the nature of Donaldson’s injury or the timetable for his return to the field.
It’s presumed that the tightness is linked to the same right calf strain that kept the infielder sidelined through spring training. Whether this is a re-aggravation of the same injury or a new problem for Donaldson, however, it seems likely that another disabled list stint awaits him in the near future. The loss of Donaldson for any length of time would be a considerable blow to the Blue Jays’ lineup, which has gone 1-5 in their first week and could benefit from the continued use of their most productive hitter.
Donaldson slashed .284/.404/.549 with 37 home runs and a .953 OPS for the Blue Jays in 2016. He went 1-for-3 against the Rays on Sunday with his second home run of the season.
Three players were suspended on Monday after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. They are: Indians pitcher Steve Delabar, Mariners pitcher Jonathan Aro, and free agent pitcher Jeffry Hernandez. Aro got a 50-game suspension while the other two were handed 80-game suspensions.
Delabar, 33, hasn’t pitched yet this season after signing a minor league deal with the Indians back in January. He spent last year with the Reds as well as the Hiroshima Carp in the Japan Central League. The right-hander has struggled over the last few seasons.
Aro, 26, also hasn’t appeared yet this season in the minors. He’s worked mostly in relief. The right-hander appeared briefly in the majors with the Mariners last season and logged 10 1/3 innings in the show with the Red Sox in 2015. Aro went to the Mariners along with Wade Miley in the trade that brought the Red Sox Carson Smith and Roenis Elias.
Hernandez, 22, is a free agent and his suspension will be effective if and when he signs with a new team.
The Phillies announced on Monday that starter Aaron Nola has been placed on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to April 21, with a lower back strain.
Nola, 23, compiled a 4.50 ERA with a 15/6 K/BB ratio over his first three starts spanning 16 innings. He felt some back soreness during his last start on Thursday against the Mets, and it lingered when he had a side session on Sunday.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury hears that the Phillies are likely to call up Nick Pivetta from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take Nola’s place in the rotation. Nola was scheduled to start on Wednesday.
Pivetta, 24, was acquired from the Nationals in the Jonathan Papelbon trade in July 2015. At Triple-A so far, Pivetta has given up only two earned runs on 12 hits and two walks with 24 strikeouts in 19 innings.